Lonely in Perugia January 30, 2008Posted by dorigo in personal, physics, social life, travel.
Tonight and tomorrow I am in Perugia, where I am following a workshop on LHC physics for italians participating in the CMS and ATLAS experiments: about 220 physicists have crowded the venue, Hotel Gio’, where they will spend three days discussing their plans for physics measurements and searches with the data that we are all waiting LHC to deliver.
The real workshop starts tomorrow, but I spent today’s afternoon at a preliminary CMS meeting, where the analysis efforts and plans of each of the italian institutions collaborating with CMS were discussed. I thus learned that the italian community in CMS has a rather strong involvement in electroweak physics analyses, a reasonable commitment with Higgs physics, and a smaller-than-expected interest in SUSY and other exotics searches. That was not a real surprise (I sort of knew that already), but it got me thinking that I might not be alone in believing that the LHC will not discover new physics beyond the standard model.
After the meeting was over I had a chance to play a little on a wonderful baby grand Steinway & Sons piano. The dinner was in form of a buffet, and despite the awkward manner of eating while standing up, a glass in one hand and a dinner plate in the other, it was a nice occasion to chat with several colleagues with which I usually have little chance to interact. Nando, Didar, Michelangelo, Simone, Vitaliano…. However, after the food ran out, and people were still lingering around discussing in small groups, I felt the need to take a couple of steps back, to observe the merry crowd with some detachment.
I am usually a sociable person and -especially after a couple of glasses of wine (I had three tonight)- I am “quick with a joke” and a fairly good converser. Nevertheless, there are times when I feel tired, and need some times for myself, to “recharge”, so to speak. Social occasions drain me quickly.
So I watched as the after-dinner activities were being organized by the younger colleagues, who planned to walk up to the center of the town. Perugia has quite a few nice places where to spend the evening in good company, but it sits on top of a hill, and our Hotel is at its feet. I drove here with my car, but the option to pick up the car and fight my way to an improbable parking in the narrow streets of the medioeval town center did not appeal to me much. I also did not fancy much the long walk… It was 8.30 in the evening, and I called it off, repairing in my room. Maybe I am really growing old!
… Or maybe, just maybe, the last month after Christmas vacations, which saw me working 110% of my time on the analysis of Higgs production with top quark pairs which constitutes the cornerstone of Marco’s PhD thesis, is calling for some rest. Marco will deliver his thesis tomorrow morning! It was indeed a hectic month, and I am happy and relieved to be looking forward to five days of vacation in Lisbon with my family, starting this coming Saturday!